| The San encamped
under rock overhangs in the mountains or in small camps in dry areas. It is
clear they lived in the mountain ranges just north of Cape Town until the
They lived in small nomadic 'bands', numbering between 20 and
80 people, consisting of several family groups.
The women foraged around the camp for food, gathering bulbs (especially those
of Arum lilies), roots, stalks and fruits. They also made clothes from skins
sewn with catgut.
The men made bows and arrows, coating the tips with the venom
of snakes and poisonous plants, and hunted antelope. It appears that they
conducted religious ceremonies in preparation for a hunt, with a shaman
entering a trance and his experiences recorded in rock art. The Eland is often
represented and seems to have been a recurring theme in their mysticism.
Musical instruments were also made by the San, and European
explorers testified to their skill in playing them. Men also gathered the
favourite San delicacy - wild honey.
For more on the San see Peoples.
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· Culture ·
In this period of Cape History: